Uploaded: Wednesday, June 14, 2000 1 PM

Hospital talks to resume Friday

Seven days after Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospital nurses walked off the job, a federal mediator has called the two sides back to the negotiating table.

A session has been set for Friday, Stanford Hospital spokeswoman Melodie Jackson said today.

In addition, the two sides have been called to an "exploratory, non-negotiating session" on Thursday, before talks formally begin again, said union spokeswoman Kim Griffin.

"We're certainly interested in going back to the table and working this out," Jackson said.

The 1,730 nurses at the two hospitals are striking over pay and other issues.

The union, Committee for Recognition of Nursing Recognition, is asking for 21.5 percent in pay raises over two years, while the hospitals have offered 8 percent over two years. There are also health benefit and staffing issues.

The nurses walked off the job June 7.

The two hospitals prepared for the strike by hiring up to 500 replacement nurses to staff the two hospitals.

But staffing problems caused Packard Hospital to transfer some patients, and Stanford Hospital redirected ambulances to other hospitals for a day last week. In addition, CRONA nurses staffed the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at Packard Hospital for the first day of the strike, at the hospital's request.

Both hospitals have deferred elective surgeries and elective admissions because of the strike, although the inpatient census at Stanford Hospital is close to normal.

--Don Kazak